Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.
Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.
In the wake of his failure to protect a boy he saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.
Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save his life.
Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.
The blood of the innocent.
Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy he failed to protect, now a man, reappears.
New master, same threat.
With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what he loves most.
If you like Bella Forrest, P. C. Cast, AJ Tipton, or Anne Rice, you will love this beautiful dark paranormal fantasy romance.
Publisher: City Owl Press (September 29, 2020)
Releases on: September 29, 2020
Genre: LGBTQIA Dark Historical Paranormal Romance
Amazon Paperback: https://smarturl.it/Youkai1AmzPrt
City Owl: https://smarturl.it/Youkai1CO
I awoke tucked into Mahiro’s futon, a thick blanket wrapped tight around me. The pain of the poison had gone except for a lingering ache in my belly, and I found myself fascinated by the feel of the sheets. I stretched my legs, humming as they slid through the soft fabric, wiggling my toes in the cold air when they poked out the end. I felt like a newborn experiencing waking for the first time. I stretched my arms over my head and listened to my joints pop with a newfound interest. The machine coming to life.
I blinked my eyes open, and the room glowed with the sun pouring in from outside. It reflected off the white bedding and made the painted screens come alive. Details I’d never noticed before stood out in stark relief: the tarnished brass of the oil lamps; the sharp, orderly arrangement of bottles and boxes on the weathered surface of the tonsu; the slightly frayed edges of the tatami around the doorway; the deep-brown stain peeking out from under the edge of the futon.
The room tilted, and I squeezed my eyes shut against the image of Kira lying bleeding on the floor. My hands and face had been cleaned, but I still felt sticky with her blood. The smell of it lingered in the air, and I pressed my face into the pillow to escape it. The door slid open, and Mahiro’s hand appeared on my shoulder.
“Are you all right?” he asked, keeping his voice low.
“Yes. No. I don’t know,” I answered, shying away from his touch. “I think there’s something wrong with my eyes.”
“What do you mean?” His voice rose a little with concern. “You cannot see?”
“I see everything. Too much.”
He chuckled and gave my shoulder a squeeze. “That’s normal. Adjusting to the change can be a little overwhelming. Let me see you.”
I rolled onto my back, eyes firmly closed until his fingers grazed my cheek. Slowly, tentatively, I opened first one, then the other, blinking until Mahiro’s face swam into focus. He gasped, his fingers jumping back before he caught himself.
“What? What’s wrong?” I asked, sitting straight up and lifting my hands to my face.
“Nothing,” he said, his initial shock settling into something akin to wonder.
I stared at him, bewildered, and he gave me a stiff smile before reaching behind him and dipping his hand into the top drawer of his tonsu. He pulled out a brass mirror and handed it to me. A rock in my throat and butterflies hammering around in my rib cage, I lifted it to my face and looked.
Red. They were red.
Rage bubbled up in me again, and with a choked cry, I threw the mirror across the room. I pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes, and Mahiro had to grab me by the wrists to keep me from gouging them out. Looking in that mirror was like looking at a stranger. My usually deep-brown eyes burned ruby red as if Kira’s blood in me had stained them—proof of my sin painted on my face.
Mahiro pulled me into his chest as I shook, crying and cursing his name even as I clung to him. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had died, died and been replaced by something dark and repulsive. A red-eyed monster that fed on blood.
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